How Sazian Integrative Clinic Is Making Healthcare Payment Convenient With Hubtel’s POS
October 19, 2023 | 4 minutes read
Sazian Integrative Clinic is a medical aesthetic and naturopathic clinic dedicated to helping you feel and look your best. One of the most interesting things about the clinic is its commitment to treating patients using non-surgical methods and the payment flexibility it provides.
Why I started the clinic:
Dr. Gifty Awuni-Ellis’ first job as a Physician assistant in a small town in Northern Ghana opened her eyes to the persistent health problems people faced.
“I always wondered if there were a way people could be cured and would not have to visit the hospital all the time. I wanted to help people treat medical conditions from the root cause and not just the signs and symptoms.” The experience fueled a curiosity that led her to pursue a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine, a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself, and later, she had the opportunity of training in medical aesthetics under the renowned Dr. Sam Assassa at Beverly Hills Aesthetics in California, USA.
How I began:
She opened her first clinic in a modest space at Batsonaa that soon saw remarkable growth. To accommodate the increasing number of patients, she relocated the clinic first to Tema community 18 and later to its current location at East Airport which was recommended by one of her patients. Now, in 2023, the clinic has expanded its presence with branches in Accra, Tamale, and Kumasi.
Our biggest challenge:
Sazian Integrative Clinic encountered two main challenges in managing its healthcare payments.
Firstly, their patients utilized a diverse range of payment methods, including cash, cards, mobile money, and bank transfers. This diversity made it challenging to efficiently streamline the payment processing system.
Secondly, their previous payment processing system had a drawback: it imposed a 24-hour delay on settling payments. This delay affected the clinic’s financial operations because money was not readily available when needed.
Hubtel to the rescue:
With this, it became evident that it was time to find a payment solution that could serve their patients better. To address this, they turned to Hubtel’s POS, thanks to a recommendation by one of their patients.
Hubtel POS addressed the clinic’s two main challenges effectively. It allowed for the seamless processing of various payment methods, providing patients with the flexibility they needed. Whether it was card payments, bank transfers, or mobile money, Hubtel’s POS could process transactions securely. This eliminated the need for cash transactions and the associated risk of theft.
Also, with the hourly settlements, money became readily available when required, significantly enhancing the clinic’s financial operations.
“After the switch, Hubtel’s POS has been nothing short of a blessing. It gave our patients payment flexibility, and we were also able to process payments quickly. It really did make everyone happy. Not to forget the hourly payment settlement it offered us. Coming across Hubtel was like a gift from Heaven.”
What the future holds:
“On a personal level, my dedication to healthcare knows no bounds,” stated Dr. Awuni-Ellis. “We are expanding our services to include Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist care and opening other branches in Kumasi and Tamale. In Tamale, our emphasis is on detoxification and reflexology. This is because we believe in the power of detoxification to rejuvenate the body and reflexology to restore balance.” added Dr. Awuni-Ellis.
“We have exciting plans to embrace more technology and provide advanced services for the benefit of our patients.”
The legacy I want to leave:
For Dr. Awuni-Ellis, her legacy and that of the clinic are deeply personal. “We want to be remembered as healers who left a lasting impact on the lives we touched. It is not just about treating physical ailments; it is about alleviating the emotional burdens that often accompany illness,” she stated.
It is her dream for Sazian Integrative Clinic to be a trusted companion on patients’ healthcare journeys, no matter which specialty they need. That is why she is on a mission to make healthcare more humane, more compassionate, and more holistic, all while embracing the possibilities that technology and AI offer.
Hubtel offers products and innovations that connect businesses with their customers. You can easily receive money by integrating your systems with Hubtel’s APIs, create invoices to take payments via card or mobile money, send bulk SMS to your database for payments or withdrawals to mobile money or bank accounts, and conveniently receive payments online through bank cards and GHQR using web checkout.
Tania, who had lived a greater part of her life in Europe, was determined to return home and start her own business while giving her sons the opportunity to experience the rich history and diverse culture of her motherland.
After a failed hair salon in 2019, Tania got the inspiration to start a grocery business during the covid which to many people was not a smart business move. But to her, it was an opportunity to help people get access to their daily essentials and her unrelenting drive to show the naysayers it was possible to return home and make it. Inspired by her sons, Tania named her business Two Guys Supermarket to serve as a source of motivation.
What started as an impossible business to many, considering the time of its inception, Two Guys Supermarket quickly grew from a brick-and-mortar business to a hybrid business. The business offers clients three ways of shopping. Either in-person, pick up or home delivery.
Drawing lessons from her previous salon business experience, Tania had learned the importance of getting everything right from the start. Given the nature of the grocery business, she understood the necessity of implementing a system to track sold items and provide real-time updates on stock levels to prevent running out of inventory. This is when Hubtel entered the scene.
With Hubtel’s POS, Two Guys Supermarket has been able to:
- Efficiently track and manage inventory, eliminating fears of theft.
- Increased sales by introducing payment flexibility.
- Saved time that would have been spent manually tracking inventory.
- Expedited payment processing.
With a grocery business’s demanding nature and its location in East Legon, a bustling business district, business had to move fast. In grocery shopping, time is of the essence, and any hindrance to the checkout process, such as payment acceptance issues or slow checkout points, could lead to lost sales.
Additionally, Tania’s lifestyle, which involved frequent international travel, required her to entrust her business to her employees. Thus, she needed a system to ensure the smooth operation of her business in her absence.
“I visit family in Europe during the summer vacations. So, I wanted to ensure business runs smoothly even when I am not around” Tania explained. Recognizing the importance of working smart, she took steps to implement the right systems.
Solution – Hubtel POS
The solution came through a friend who introduced her to Hubtel POS, a mobile retail software with a web management dashboard that enables your business to accept payments from mobile money wallets across all networks.
With Hubtel’s POS, the challenges of checkout and inventory management were effectively addressed, resulting in a better shop management experience. Customers could make payments quickly, whether with cash, mobile money, bank transfers, or cards.
Having access to accurate information about inventory and sales allowed Two Guys Supermarket to remain organized and maintain smooth operations. Tania says, “Hubtel’s POS saves me so much time. I do not have to take manual inventory counts and even when I am out of the country, I still receive notifications when a sale is made, keeping me informed about stock levels.”
Tania’s journey from Europe back to her homeland, driven by a desire to create opportunities for her sons and succeed as an entrepreneur, has been nothing short of inspiring.
With Hubtel’s POS, Two Guys Supermarket has efficiently managed various aspects of its operations, streamlined processes and increased customer satisfaction.
Tania’s commitment to her business and her customers’ needs propelled Two Guys Supermarket to success, proving that with the right tools and determination, every business can thrive.
If you are a frequent Hubtel user, we know convenience is your thing. We get it; that’s why our app is designed to keep things simple and hassle-free. We have some useful features up our sleeves that you may or may not have an idea about. Keep still; some may blow your mind.
We get it. Sometimes you just can’t keep calm after placing an order. You want to be sure your food is on its way. With our order tracking system, you get to know the status of your order. You’ll receive updates from the moment your order is picked up until it arrives at your doorstep.
There is nothing more frustrating than having high hopes for a meal and receiving the wrong order. Nope, not in our books. Our delivery codes feature ensures that you receive the right item from the right person. It’s simple. When the delivery rider arrives, they’ll ask you for a code which will be sent to you in app and via SMS, and you’ll be able to confirm that you’re receiving exactly what you ordered.
You perceive your day is going to be super packed? Here’s some good news for you! You can schedule your lunch in advance and get it delivered at the given time. So, you know what? Leave the trouble of getting your lunch on a busy day to us and have all the time and peace of mind to tackle what needs to be done. Sounds good? This feature is not limited to lunches alone. You can schedule your breakfast, dinner, everyday essentials and even medications to be delivered to you just at the time you want them.
It’s hard enough to memorize telephone numbers, not to mention account numbers. We promised you a convenient transaction, and that’s exactly how you will have it. With our smart favorite feature, you can save your most frequent transactions, such as airtime, data, bills, mobile money, and bank accounts. This makes all your future transactions easier and quicker.
If you already knew about the features we mentioned, congratulations! You are a Hub-star. But if you are new and have yet to experience the convenient life with Hubtel, now is the time. Let’s go!
Hubtel Pledge Supports St. Augustine’s College, in APSU ‘99 Legacy Project
August 17, 2023 | 3 minutes read
In a remarkable display of dedication to education and a commitment to giving back, Hubtel, a wholly owned Ghanaian company with deep ties to St. Augustine’s College, has pledged its support to the APSU ’99 Legacy Project.
The APSU ’99 Legacy Project holds special significance for Hubtel, as all three of the company’s co-founders—Leslie Kwabena Gyimah, Ernest Apenteng, and Alex Bram—are proud alumni of St. Augustine’s College, belonging to the ’99 year group. Their shared journey through the halls of this venerable institution has forged a strong bond between Hubtel and their alma mater.
The alumni of the 1999 year group of St. Augustine’s College on Saturday, August 12, 2023, unveiled the APSU ‘99 Legacy Project at the launch of the school’s 94th speech & prize giving at the Coconut Groove Hotel.
In a video communication to the ‘99-year group, the CEO and co-founder of Hubtel, who was a guest speaker at the launch of the project, Mr. Alex Bram expressed the significance of contributing to the APSU ’99 Legacy Project. “The road to quality education and the development of Ghana is littered with the achievements of people who attended some of the very best secondary schools in West Africa,” the CEO stated. “Secondary education is the bedrock of Ghana’s education, and it’s a very important gesture for us to continue this legacy in supporting our school and continuing what the pioneers have done.”
The CEO emphasized the importance of quality education and facilities for the growth of the country. With the increased pressure on school infrastructure due to the government’s free SHS policy, St. Augustine’s College, like many other institutions, faces challenges in providing a conducive learning environment. “Quality education requires quality facilities,” Mr. Bram continued. “That is the more reason why we need to support the project of renovating some of the facilities in the school to help the school move things along and also help all the students to enjoy the facilities that we enjoyed when we were in the school.”
The APSU ’99 Legacy Project is focusing on the renovation of an 18-room classroom block, a vital hub for countless students. The CEO revealed that the executive board of the ’99 group had approached Hubtel’s founders about the state of the classroom block, highlighting the urgent need for renovation and support. “Our help will go far in helping the school maintain the status quo and help the current students enjoy this facility,” he remarked.
To kickstart the initiative, Hubtel, through its CSR wing, Hubtel Pledge, committed a generous seed fund of GHS800,000 to the project. This significant contribution will set the wheels in motion, though it’s acknowledged that additional funds are needed to fully complete the renovation project and organize the upcoming 94th speech and prize-giving day event. The CEO urged all alumni to unite and rally sponsors to contribute, ensuring the project’s success.
Mr. Bram believes that the collective efforts to support St. Augustine’s College will serve as an inspiration to current students, guiding them to chart their own paths to success. “With the support and contributions coming from all over the world, from all Apsunians and from sponsors, I am sure it will inspire the students that these are people that have walked their path before and these people are doing very well,” the CEO asserted.
As the legacy project gains momentum, it is expected to leave an indelible mark on St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of Ghana.
Hubtel, Ghana’s first full-feature quick commerce platform, is celebrating its 18th anniversary as a trailblazing, wholly-managed Ghanaian tech company. From its inception in 2005 as SMSGH, the company has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from being the primary SMS solution-based messaging business to a fully licensed payment and digital transformation services provider. Upon reflection, a lot has been achieved over the past 18 years, however, it is the company’s ability to embrace and overcome failure that has been crucial to its growth and success.
The Hubtel Story
In 2005, two bright and ambitious undergraduates from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Alex Bram and Ernest Apenteng, set out to revolutionize how businesses connect with their customers through SMS messaging. Thus, SMSGH was born. Armed with an entrepreneurial inquisitiveness that was strange for Chemistry and Biological Sciences majors at the time, Bram and Apenteng faced challenge after challenge along the way to achieving success. As secondary school students, the duo ventured into various business endeavours such as magazine production, facility management, and event management. While some of these initiatives saw a modest level of success, most were unable to withstand the test of time. Nevertheless, these experiences served as a wellspring of knowledge for the young entrepreneurs.
Driven by their vision to establish a successful company, that not only provides employment opportunities but also delivers innovation, value, and impact to society, Bram and Apenteng poured their hearts into SMSGH. Five months after launching, the company recorded its first sale, and within three months, it had secured contracts with leading firms in Ghana worth approximately USD 6,000.
By 2007, SMSGH had already launched one of Africa’s first online SMS messaging portals and transactional alert systems for banks in Ghana. The company’s revenue grew to an impressive USD 1 million by the end of the 2007 financial year. In 2011, SMSGH solidified its position as Ghana’s largest messaging services provider after introducing a micro-billing platform that processed payments via subscriber airtime balances. In recognition of their ground-breaking achievements, Forbes Africa Magazine named SMSGH one of the Top 20 Technology Start-Ups in 2012.
SMSGH to Hubtel
By 2013, SMSGH had already established itself as a thriving company. The following year, investor interest in the business soared, resulting in numerous offers of investment. However, the team made a bold decision to turn down these offers, committed to maintaining the company’s Ghanaian roots.
SMSGH’s first financial year, 2007, was a remarkable success, all things considered. Good times continued to roll and between 2010 and 2011, the company saw a staggering 230% increase in revenue, with annual growth rates of over 100%. However, in 2013 and 2014, the growth rate slowed to about 30%, and by 2014-2015, it had further declined to 20%. This served as a signal that it was time to pivot the company in a new direction.
In search of the new direction, the visionary leaders joined The Stanford Seed Business Transformation program in 2016. The program’s goal was to transition the company from a primarily ‘messaging-focused’ business to one that prioritized payment and customer services. The result was the launch of the Hubtel brand and its flagship product, the Hubtel mobile application on May 12, 2017. On the back of the launch of the Hubtel app, what would become Ghana’s first super-app, the company began operations as a Payment Services Provider (Enhanced) following the receipt of approval from the Bank of Ghana in 2019.
The willingness to change and adapt, resulting in the transformation of Hubtel from a messaging-focused business to a digital transformation services provider is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to growth, innovation, and excellence.
The Hubtel App
In the fast-paced world of technology, success is often accompanied or preceded by failure. This was certainly the case for Bram, Apenteng and Hubtel. Before the launch of the Hubtel app, in 2012, the company launched MPower Payments, a complete end-to-end online and mobile payment transactions solution that will enable consumers and merchants send, spend, and receive payments. MPower introduced the MPower Mobile Point of Sale application which allowed businesses to accept various forms of cashless payments. However, it did not achieve the desired level of success.
Hubtel faced similar challenges when it first launched the Hubtel app in 2017. The goal was to connect customers and businesses through the app and enhance and make the commercial experience more convenient and simpler. This goal was not achieved during its initial launch. Post launch, the Hubtel app faced numerous hiccups, system failures, and product defects. These issues ultimately led to a less than lukewarm response from the general public. Convinced they were on the cusp of something special, the Hubtel team persevered and launched a new drive to rebuild the Hubtel app and its accompanying platform. Within five months, the company relaunched a fully functional and refreshed product.
Backed by innovatively discerning leaders, a focused management team and a young and tireless workforce, things began, once again, to look up for Hubtel and in 2019, Hubtel received approval from the Bank of Ghana to operate as a Payment Services Provider (Enhanced). By 2021, Hubtel was processing nearly 8.3% of all successful mobile money payments in Ghana, according to data from the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Interbank Payment & Settlement Systems.
At the beginning of 2023, the company celebrated a significant milestone of over 500,000 app downloads on the Google Playstore alone.
Growth and Achievement
Hubtel has achieved remarkable success since its rebranding in 2017. The company received a full license to operate as an Enhanced Payment Services Provider in 2022, and by the end of that year, it had become Ghana’s largest fintech company in terms of transaction turnover and revenue.
Hubtel has, like its reputation, experienced a significant increase in staff numbers, growing from 60+ employees at the time of the rebrand in 2017 to a robust team of over 270 employees across eight cities in Ghana. Every department has grown by more than 100% in the past six years.
This extraordinary growth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team at Hubtel. They have been the backbone of the company, driving its success and ensuring that goals and objectives are met. The company values and recognizes each employee’s unique contributions to its collective effort. As the company continues to blaze new trails in the technology and financial industries, it remains a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to pivot in the face of changing market dynamics. The creation, and wide use of the innovative Hubtel ‘super-app’ and platform that connects users to everyday services and local retailers is a manifestation of this.
The Next 18
Hubtel’s 18th anniversary is not just a milestone for the company but also a testament to the power of embracing failure.
“As a company, we have always maintained a startup mentality, constantly learning, trying new things, and embracing failure as a means of driving innovation. We are dedicated to leading the way in Africa’s digital future, with a clear vision to become the most useful company on the continent by providing a platform that enables easy access and participation in the digital economy for everyone”, Alex Bram said.
“Never be afraid to jump at the sun, you will never reach it, but your feet will leave the ground”, this African Proverb was quoted by Alex Bram in his speech during the launch of Hubtel in 2017. Hubtel’s journey, or jump if you will, is a story of passion, resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from setbacks. As Hubtel continues to expand and innovate, it remains committed to its mission of driving Africa forward by enabling everyone to find and pay for everyday essentials and keeping its feet firmly off the ground.
Congratulations to Hubtel, the staff and management and its founders, Alex Bram and Ernest Apenteng, on this remarkable milestone. Here’s to another 18 years of embracing failure and utilizing lessons learnt to spur on innovation and growth.
Central Bank of Eswantini Visits Hubtel for Peer-to-Peer Learning
April 26, 2023 | 3 minutes read
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, Hubtel had the honor of hosting a delegation from the Central Bank of Eswatini. The visit aimed to explore the fintech ecosystem in Ghana and how Hubtel, a leading fintech company, has supported financial inclusion in the country.
From February 21 to 23, 2023, the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) visited the Bank of Ghana and other key players in the fintech landscape for peer-to-peer learning. Hubtel, one of the key enablers in the fintech space, was handpicked for a visit.
The delegation from the Central Bank of Eswatini and the Bank of Ghana were received by Hubtel’s General Manager, Mr. Ernest Apenteng, and other members of the management team.
The visit began with a brief introduction, followed by a series of presentations on the background and history of Hubtel, including an overview of the company’s mission, vision, and values, as well as its growth and achievements.
The main session focused on Hubtel’s operations and products, with presentations on different aspects of the company’s operations and products, including key products, services, and innovations. The Hubtel team also explained how their products and services are delivered to customers.
The CBE team received presentations on an overview of the regulatory framework for the fintech sector in Ghana and an insight into Hubtel’s relationship with its regulators. In addition to the informative sessions, the CBE team also took a quick tour of Hubtel’s offices, which showcased the company’s work environment, culture, and technology.
In addition to the visit from the Central Bank of Eswatini, Hubtel has also recently hosted a delegation from Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post Office (ARCEP), Benin led by Lawuratu Musah-Saaka, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission, Ghana to engage them on the company’s product and quick commerce operations, specifically courier services. The visit aimed to share knowledge and experiences on how Hubtel has provided innovative and efficient courier services to its customers in Ghana.
The ARCEP delegation was particularly interested in understanding how Hubtel has been able to overcome challenges in the courier industry in Ghana and how the company has been able to deliver efficient and reliable services to its customers. The team from Hubtel provided valuable insights and shared best practices that have helped the company to overcome challenges and improve its services over time.
It is worth noting that Hubtel hosting visits from regulatory officials of the Central Bank of Eswatini and officials from ARCEP, Benin within a month, lends to the testament of the company’s impact in Ghana’s fintech industry. Additionally, this emphasizes the importance of collaboration between fintech companies and regulators in promoting innovation and financial inclusion.
Hubtel remains committed to working with regulators and other stakeholders to create a more inclusive and sustainable digital financial ecosystem in Ghana and beyond. As the fintech industry continues to evolve, it is important for companies and regulators to work together to create an environment that fosters innovation and growth.
Three years ago, Alex Bram had an idea. The idea was quite simple. He believed there should be an app that connected users to their favorite brands. This connection was quite different and novel, in the sense that users would have the power to purchase digital services from these brands; and review them as well for the kind of service they received. Also, it had a mix of loyalty where users were rewarded every time a digital service was purchased. This was meant to create a positive feedback loop that would keep customers coming back for more. Someway somehow it worked and we all enjoy it to this day.
For this idea to come alive a team of engineers was assembled (sort of like the Avengers. These guys did not have superpowers).
At that point in time, Hubtel’s focus was on businesses and the core of our product was business-facing, so most of the engineering effort and time were put in that direction. This team that was formed was as agile as you can imagine.
These were the members and their roles as of then:
- Alex Bram (Part-time Project Manager)
- Selassie Afenya (Team Lead)
- Liman Labaran (Backend Developer)
- Paul Gamedzi (Front End Developer > Backend Engineer)
- Bill Inkoom (Android Developer)
- Emmanuel Rockson (Visual Designer)
Since we were free to do what we wanted, we chose a different stack as opposed to what Hubtel was using – Microsoft Framework. We went Laravel. On the business platform, Hubtel had users and businesses but because we were building a side app, we created our own users. We also created our own brands and basically created everything that our little platform needed. The app was launched to the public on Hubtel’s birthday, 12th May (2017). We started work on it around July 2016. It was initially named Hubtel Exchange then we did not like that name so we changed it to Hubtel Connect. Then we didn’t like that name either so we changed it to Hubtel Gratis. But Apple said no to that name so we chose Hubtel.me and we got fed up and just removed the .me so now it’s just Hubtel.
The app released to the public was really simple: you could buy airtime and pay some bills and get great rewards for doing that. We started with a few users: less than a hundred. Our daily transaction volumes were in hundreds of cedis a day. We had no ads or no big promotion plans in mind. We wanted the dream of virality, to build a system so good that it would sell itself. As time went on our users increased in number and the volumes came with it. We steadily climbed to GHS 100,000 a month and crossed the 1000-user mark, then we hit a million Ghana cedis in transactions (“a milli, a milli” in Lil Wayne’s voice). That was great.
The fire sort of died down a little bit because we had become another credit-selling and bill-paying app ( a sect of apps that are just waiting to be slaughtered by the Industry Giants (Banks and MTN).
Then Patrick Asare-Frimpong joined Hubtel and for the very first time, we had a full-time Project Manager. He brought fresh energy and new ideas.
The next few months were exciting: we worked on Gift-cards; we worked on fraud prevention and we built our beloved Sophie. She is truly a darling. Sophie is certainly one of a kind, she is a fully automated bot that can process natural language and give level-headed replies. At first, she was just cracking jokes and giving people Hubtel’s phone number. Well, Patrick disagreed and insisted we equip Sophie to become Hubtel’s first Automated Support (RoboSupport). It worked! Sophie can now reverse transactions when issues are reported to her. Her database of possible questions has grown making her a great support personnel to talk to all the time.
Then came a powerful alliance with marketing to create the potential future of Hubtel – the Mobile Mall and Car4ce. Around this time most of the earlier comrades had left and new comrades had entered the scene.
- Max Cofie
- Andy Nickson
- Sam Eshun With a new team and more motivation, work on the mall and CareForce was completed.
A New Dawn
That was the past, and now Hubtel looks to the future. The fragmentation of Hubtel Consumers and Hubtel Businesses will be no more. We all look ahead to forge one story where consumers can go through a Hubtel journey that’s clear as distilled water. A future where the Hubtel app owns no users, owns no streams, owns no transactions and owns no data, and owns no algorithms. A future where everything belongs to the Hubtel platform, allowing us to build many meaningful apps for our lovely customers.
Article by: Bill Nkoom – Software Engineer at Hubtel